I was watching CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood this morning and truly enjoyed the segment on country singer Brad Paisley. It turns out this talented performer comes from Wheeling, West Virginia which is also the home of one of my hero’s – Walter Reuther, former President of the UAW.
Country music is one of my vices but it has a rather retrograde image with many. Brad Paisley represents a more tolerant new direction that will put a new face on country music. This is exemplified in his video Welcome to the Future.
Walter Reuther argued for a better future including national health insurance over a half century ago.
In his role as Chairman, Reuther gave numerous interviews and speeches advocating for the national health insurance cause. One such interview, documented as a booklet, held in the Reuther Library’s UAW President’s Office: Walter P. Reuther Records, describes Reuther’s vision for national health insurance. When discussing healthcare, Reuther often employed the automobile as a metaphor to help people understand what he considered to be a national crisis. He stated, “when it comes to the organization of health care, we’re traveling in a Model-T vehicle” (Committee, p. 3), underscoring that the private health insurance model was flawed due to its “principal idea…to sell a product” (p. 3). Indeed, Reuther’s vision of healthcare sought to remedy these problems, and he addressed many of the practical concerns still discussed today, including cost and financing, coverage, and benefits provisions.